Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs in young people born with a narrowed spinal canal and in older people with arthritis or chronic disc degeneration. Normally, nerves emerge from the spinal cord through openings in the vertebral column, like a network of wires from a main cable. If these small openings are narrowed either by birth defect or by age, the nerves become compressed, which causes pain. Pain may occur in the lower back, buttocks, and one or both legs. The pain is aggravated by standing and walking and relieved by resting, sitting, and lying down. These symptoms can imitate a problem with circulation. In addition to painful symptoms, numbness and tingling in one or both legs may occur. Even with all of these symptoms, the spine can maintain a good range of motion.